By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

As a small but beautiful country situated in Southeast Asia, Singapore is long known for its ideal environment to invest in. It is undeniable that this country has a lot to offer in terms of a pro-business environment, a favorable tax system, and a top-notch banking system. And now the important question arises, how to set up a company in Singapore?

how to set up a company in singapore cover photo

Let’s buckle up, and take a glance at our guide on how to set up a company in prestigious Singapore!

1. Reason you should opt for Singapore

reasons why you should opt for Singapore

Like many other foreigners, if you still wonder why you should open a company in Singapore, below are the reasons that make you make up your mind:

  • Ease of incorporation: submit your required documents and application online and get your company ready in 24 hours.
  • Favorable tax system: low tax rates and many beneficial schemes are what your company needs to legally pay lower bills.
  • Strategic locations and modern infrastructure system: easier to conduct business overseas and operate your company.
  • Other perks: a highly qualified workforce, great living standards, open immigration policy, and exquisite intellectual property regime.

2. Five steps to set up your company in Singapore

With the following easy-peasy steps, you will know how to set up a company in Singapore in no time!

Step 1: Pick your ideal business structure

3 most popular business structures

Though the first thing to do is pick your company type, you still need to perform a pre-step called: Evaluation. You must evaluate your company’s needs and sizes, your financial ability, and your company’s features that you seek before choosing the best-suited types of business structures.

Below are the most common types of business structures in Singapore:

  • Private Limited Company (Pte. Ltd). It is no doubt that this is the most common type of company that most investors opt for.
  • Sole proprietorship. Most business owners go for this type of business structure because of its simplicity in terms of incorporation.
  • Limited Liability Partnership. This one is an interesting business type: a mixture between a separate legal entity and a partnership.

Registering a company in Singapore can be a little bit different between business entities. However, this article shows you the incorporation process of the most common business type – a limited company.

Step 2: Select your company formation services

graph showing the requirements of incorporating a company in Singapore

In Singapore, the Accounting Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is in charge of all business registration and all business operations. And as per this national agency, in order to register a company in Singapore, you must work with a company formation service and have them submit the application on your behalf.

Here is a checklist of requirements that you need to fulfill:

  • Have at least 1 director who is a Singapore resident
  • Have a local office address
  • Have a company secretary

Be noted that having a company secretary can be assigned within 6 months after the incorporation succeeded.

Step 3: Choose your company’s name

company name's requirements in Singapore

After finishing the above steps, the next step is to choose a unique name for your company. Below are some criteria for choosing a company’s name in Singapore:

  • The name should be unique and completely different from the existing ones (reserved ones included).
  • The name is obliged to not violate any copyright regulations or commit any trademark infringements.
  • The name does not imply any vulgar, obscene sense, or even prohibited terms.

The incorporation service provider that you pick in the last step will be the one registering this name on your behalf via BizFile Portal. ACRA will put your name under examination and give the approval within hours later.

Still, the waiting time for approval can be longer (up to a few days) if your company’s name needs to get approval from another government agency. Your company’s name can be reserved for a maximum of 120 days.

Step 4: Proceed to register your new company

Now you are almost all set to process the company formation. But first, you need to submit the required documents to your service provider as they are the one who is responsible for the incorporation process on your behalf.

The fundamental requirements include:

requirements of registering a company in Singapore

Step 5: Receive your incorporation result

email that informs the incoporation result in singapore

Taking advantage of the BizFile Portal, the incorporation process only takes 24 hours. As soon as the ACRA finishes processing your application, a notify email will be sent to you to inform the result.

This email also acts as an online registration certificate of your company if you register your company successfully. The email also includes a Unique Entity Number (UEN) – the number that is used with all company transactions with government agencies.

What’s more? The email also contains a special URL that you can access and download your company’s business profile.

3. Additional steps after incorporation

additional steps to finalize your incorporation in Singapore

3.1 Business license and permits

So, your company is ready to run its businesses, theoretically. Be noted that some business sectors in Singapore are obliged to have a business license or permit.

If you are about to start a business in the following fields, make sure you get a corresponding business license/permit:

  • Restaurants
  • Institutes with educational purposes
  • Travel agencies
  • Financial agencies
  • Goods import or export
  • Employment agencies

GoBusiness Licensing is a newly-developed portal that makes applying for a license/permit easier than ever. However, an expert’s advice is necessary for this situation.

3.2 Corporate bank account

When it comes to the corporate bank account in Singapore, there is a wide range of prestigious banks to choose from. To make the competition more intense, a lot of banks have carried out many favorable policies and services that business owners (like you) can benefit from.

Our recommendations are:

  • If you’re into local banks: DBS, OCBC, and UOB
  • If it’s international banks that you prefer: HSBC, Citibank, and Standard Chartered

One drawback of Singapore banks is that a direct meeting is compulsory in order to open a corporate account. Still, ever since the pandemic, many banks have offered online meetings for bank account opening services.

3.3 Annual maintenance filings

Finally yet importantly, to legally manage and maintain your company, you must comply with the following requirements:

  • Hold the annual general meeting
  • Appoint a company secretary (within 6 months after the successful incorporation)
  • Appoint an auditor (within 3 months after the successful incorporation)
  • Appoint an auditor
  • Pick Financial Year End (FYE)
  • Maintain statutory registers
  • File annual reports

3.4 Other issues

Register for a CorpPass account. CorpPass is an official and only login method for a company to make transactions with the government.

Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST). You may know of GST in a more common name – VAT. According to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, if your company’s taxable turnover exceeds S$1million, you must register for a GST.

Register for Central Provident Fund (CPF). This is a scheme with the purpose to encourage employees to fund their future needs (including retirement, healthcare, and housing).

4. Conclusion

At the beginning of this article, we all agree that Singapore offers tons of benefits for foreign investors. But now, the easy and straightforward incorporation process is what sets Singapore apart from other countries. Check out our Singapore Incorporation Service.

Should you have any questions in terms of how to set up a company in Singapore, we – BBCIncorp are always here to help. Drop us your queries at service@bbcincorp.com.

Recent Posts

guide-to-types-of-companies-in-singapore
26 Jan 2021

Guide To Types of Companies in Singapore (2021 Updates)

Are you planning to set up a company in Singapore but don’t know which type is right for you? This blog covers main types of companies in Singapore and their key features to simplify your decision making.

Read more
singapore-and-hong-kong-for-doing-business
3 Feb 2021

Singapore and Hong Kong for Doing Business

Wondering where to incorporate? Hong Kong and Singapore are in the top three ideal destinations to do business in the world. Tons of benefits for corporations.

Read more
an-overview-of-annual-filing-requirements-in-singapore
31 Mar 2021

An Overview of Annual Filing Requirements in Singapore

There are several annual filing requirements that every business owner in Singapore needs to take heed of. It goes without saying that these liabilities vary greatly in their natures, purposes, and deadline for submission.

Read more
why-you-should-incorporate-in-singapore-today
31 Mar 2021

Why You Should Incorporate in Singapore Today

In what follows, we will shed light on why incorporating in Singapore has become a prevailing trend, its benefits, and why you should do it too.

Read more
faqs-about-delaware-corporation
20 Apr 2021

FAQs – 12 Frequently Asked Questions About Delaware Corporation

You may be confused about corporation types, structures, benefits, annual fees and how to form. These 12 FAQs about Delaware corporation are for you.

Read more
private-limited-company-in-the-uk
15 Apr 2021

Private Limited Company – An Emerging Form of Business in the UK

Everything you need to know about forming a Private Limited Company in the UK, including the pros and cons, formation requirements, and legal responsibilities.

Read more
delaware-withholding-tax
16 Apr 2021

Delaware Withholding Tax: What New Employers Should Know

Delaware withholding tax is imposed on wages paid to employees who perform for a company in the state. The employer must pay the amount to the local authority.

Read more
delaware-franchise-tax-and-annual-report
16 Apr 2021

Delaware Franchise Tax And Annual Report: What You Need To Know

Delaware franchise tax is one of mostly-asked topics for any business registered in the state, especially corporations and LLCs. This blog will explain to you.

Read more
how-to-form-a-delaware-corporation
7 Apr 2021

How To Form A Delaware Corporation: A Complete Guidance

Forming Delaware corporation is a trending option for most startups in the US. These easy-to-follow steps will guide you on how to set up a Delaware corporation.

Read more
delaware-llc-annual-fees-and-annual-report
1 Apr 2021

Delaware LLC Annual Fees and Annual Report: How to Stay Compliant

A Delaware LLC need not file an annual report. But it may report on its income. Besides, a Delaware LLC needs to pay two kinds of annual fees for maintenance.

Read more
delaware-corporation-benefits
2 Apr 2021

Top 4 Delaware corporation benefits you should know

Forming corporations in Delaware offers a large number of benefits in taxation, legal process, privacy protection, investor attraction. Read this for details.

Read more
how-to-register-llc-in-delaware
13 Apr 2021

How to Register an LLC in Delaware (in Only 3 Steps)

To register LLC in Delaware, you can follow the 3 simple steps: choose the LLC name, submit an application, and receive the result. Learn more!

Read more